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Muehlenbeckia florulenta

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Kingdom  Plantae
Family  Polygonaceae
Scientific name  Muehlenbeckia florulenta
Rank  Species
Order  Caryophyllales
Genus  Muehlenbeckia
Higher classification  Muehlenbeckia
Muehlenbeckia florulenta httpsphotossmugmugcomVictorianFloraAllPlan
Similar  Muehlenbeckia, Eucalyptus largiflorens, Muehlenbeckia adpressa, Polygonaceae, Myoporum insulare

Muehlenbeckia florulenta, commonly known as tangled lignum or often simply lignum, is a plant native to inland Australia. It is associated with wetland habitats, especially those in arid and semiarid regions subject to cycles of intermittent flooding and drying out. The Wiradjuri name for the plant is gweeargal.


Muehlenbeckia florulenta Large Shrub or Small Tree victorianflora


Muehlenbeckia florulenta Muehlenbeckiaflorulentajpg

Lignum is a perennial, monoecious shrub, growing to 2.5 m in height, with its multitude of thin, intertwined and tangled branches and branchlets forming dense thickets to the exclusion of other species. Its thin, narrow leaves are 15–70 mm long and 2–10 mm wide. The grey-green stems often end in a sharp point. The flowers are small and cream to yellowish, solitary or clustered along the branchlets and occurring through most of the year. The fruit is top-shaped, dry, and about 5 mm long.

Muehlenbeckia florulenta Muehlenbeckia florulenta Meisn FloraBase Flora of Western Australia

Lignum often appears leafless as the leaves are produced on younger growth but soon die off, especially in dry conditions. New leaves and shoots are rapidly produced in response to rainfall or flooding. The plant has a very deep root system, penetrating the soil to at least 3 m in depth. It is highly tolerant of salinity and drought and may be used as an indicator of dryland soil salinity. Because of its densely tangled growth habit, it provides protected breeding habitat for native wildlife such as waterbirds, though it can also provide refuge for pest species such as feral pigs, foxes and rabbits.

Distribution and habitat

Muehlenbeckia florulenta All Plants victorianflora

Lignum occurs in all of Australia’s mainland states, as well as the Northern Territory. The plant’s preferred habitats include floodplains, swamps, gilgais and other intermittently flooded areas. In southern Australia it is often associated with stands of river red gum and black box.

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Muehlenbeckia florulenta Muehlenbeckia florulenta


Muehlenbeckia florulenta Wikipedia

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Eucalyptus largiflorens
Muehlenbeckia adpressa